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3rd Ave Belltown Paving Project (Virginia St to Broad St)

Taking care of basics

Last updated: July 19, 2017

What’s happening now

Temporary closure of Lenora St between 3rd and 4th avenues from 7 AM on Thursday, July 20 to 3 PM on Friday, July 21. While crews perform paving, local vehicle traffic can access Lenora St but cannot cross 3rd Ave at Lenora St. Lenora St will also be reduced to 1 lane westbound between 2nd and 3rd avenues (see detour map). Visit Metros alerts for information on bus reroutes.

Single, overnight water shut-off for limited properties near Blanchard St, July 20. Crews will perform water work to tie into the existing water main. Please be advised the work can be noisy, and SPU has notified properties affected by water shut-offs.

3rd Ave reduced to single, southbound lane between Cedar and Vine streets from 7 AM to 5 PM daily on Friday, July 21 and Monday, July 24. While crews place new concrete panels in the roadway, northbound 3rd Ave traffic will be rerouted to 4th Ave at Vine St, and return to 3rd Ave at Cedar St (see detour map). Local access will be maintained.

Crews now working on east side of 3rd Ave between Broad and Cedar streets. Starting Monday, July 24 through early August, Clay St will be closed to through traffic between 3rd Ave and 4th avenues for paving (see detour map). Work on the west side of 3rd Ave between Broad and Cedar streets was completed last week. Local access will be maintained.

For all active construction work in the corridor, you can expect the following:

  • Access for emergency vehicles and pedestrians will be maintained.
  • Uniformed police officers or flaggers to assist traffic flow when crews are working.
  • Construction-related noise, dust, vibration, and concrete odor.
  • Work is weather-dependent and subject to change. We will keep you updated if any changes are anticipated.

What else is happening in the project corridor?

Crews plan to keep working in the northern and southern ends of the project corridor for the next few weeks:

  • Blanchard St closure extended to early August to complete water line replacement and reconnection. At this time, we anticipate Blanchard St will reopen to through traffic the week of August 7. Crews plan to pave the east side of the Blanchard St and 3rd Ave intersection starting next Wednesday during normal weekday work hours. Please expect increased construction-related noise, dust, and concrete odor. This work schedule depends on continued warm weather and work progressing as scheduled in the northern end of the corridor. It is subject to change. Please see the detour map for continued access and on-street parking restrictions in this area.
  • Bus stops on 3rd Ave at Cedar St relocated 1 block south through 4 AM on October 1. While crews repave 3rd Ave between Broad and Vine streets, the northbound and southbound bus stops on 3rd Ave at Cedar St have been temporarily relocated 1 block south, between Vine and Wall streets. We anticipate this relocation will be in effect through 4 AM on October 1. For information on changes to Metro routes, please visit

Construction on the 3rd Ave Paving Project through Belltown began Tuesday, May 2. The contractor is currently in two general locations: at Blanchard St to finish water work (anticipated early August) and between Broad and Vine streets on repaving (anticipated through September).

Questions? Want to receive project updates?

Email the project team:
Email updates: Sign up using the form below
Text updates: Text "3rdAvePaving" to 33222 to receive construction alerts via text
Call: (206) 920-7073

Click to view larger

3rd Ave Paving Detour Map of Vine Cedar
Click to view larger

Above: 3rd Ave before construction

Construction overview

To minimize the duration of the work in front of a given property or block, we’ve divided the project area into 4 work zones. Crews will be required to finish major construction in one zone before moving to the next:

  • Zone A: Virginia St to midblock of Lenora St (major construction complete; water work at Blanchard St anticipated to finish in early August)
  • Zone B: Midblock of Lenora St to Battery St
  • Zone C: Battery St to midblock north of Vine St
  • Zone D: Midblock north of Vine St to Broad St

3rd Ave will generally remain open to traffic throughout construction, although will be reduced to a single lane in each direction in the active construction zone. Occasional detours are expected and will continue to be communicated in advance. On-street parking will be restricted temporarily at construction locations.

The water main and sewer line work will require some water shutoffs, which we expect will occur at night, for the least impact. Weekend work will be necessary at intersections heavily used by Metro during the week. Other construction will occur during standard work hours.

SDOT is working closely with King County Metro so buses continue to operate during construction, although individual bus stops will be temporarily closed or moved. We will not simultaneously close bus stops next to one another.

Project Overview

3rd Ave through Belltown is a primary arterial carrying some 3,600 vehicles per day, approximately 45% of which are buses. Currently, the street has many potholes and patches from previous cuts into the pavement to install utilities.

The street is currently composed of a mix of concrete panels and asphalt. We will remove all of the asphalt and replace it with concrete panels, which will last longer than asphalt. We’ll replace existing curb lane concrete panels that are broken or have previously been cut into for repairs or utility service connections (which makes them more susceptible to breaking). 

In addition to repaving the street, the project includes:

  • Replacing curb ramps at some intersections to bring them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Sidewalks will otherwise not be impacted.
  • Replacing and/or repairing sections of water mains and sewer lines. This will require water shutoffs, most likely at night for the least impact.
  • Installing electrical conduit at select locations.
  • Expanding both the northbound and southbound bus zones at Virginia St in order to better accommodate the large number of buses using these stops.


Construction began May 2, 2017 and will take approximately 10 months to complete.  We will update this page as construction progresses.


The estimated cost of this project is $9.3 million, with funding from the voter-approved Move Seattle Levy.

Contact Information

We’re committed to keeping you informed and working with neighbors to limit construction impacts to the extent feasible. Here are some ways to get more information about the project:

  • Subscribe for project email updates by using the form above.
  • Contact us directly with questions about the project or call at (206) 920-7073
  • Text 3rdAvePaving to 33222 to sign up for construction alerts via text
  • Request a briefing for your business or organization (contact us via phone or email)

Phone line: (206) 920-7073 (calls are answered during weekday work hours, 7 AM to 5 PM, and monitored during night and weekend work)

Community Outreach Lead
Paul Elliott

Project Manager
Brian Glas


Other SDOT projects in the area

  • 2nd Ave Mobility Improvements - We are making traffic signal improvements and extending the existing 2-way protected bike lane along 2nd Ave from Pike St to Denny Way. These improvements will organize the street and move people more efficiently. Construction began in March and will continue through fall 2017.  Visit the project website here to learn more or contact the project hotline at (206) 905-3639.

  • Center City Connector Project - We will join the existing South Lake Union and the First Hill Streetcar lines, largely along 1st Ave through downtown, creating new north-south connections across downtown. Utility relocations are planned to start this summer. We expect to finish streetcar design by 2018 and the new streetcar line to open in 2020. Visit the project website here to learn more or contact the project team at or 206-615-1070.

  • Center City Bike Network - We are studying and prioritizing locations for a protected bicycle lane network in downtown Seattle. This spring we’re talking with the community about how to connect the two-way protected bike lane on 2nd Ave to the new Westlake protected bike lane via Bell St or a combination of Bell and Blanchard streets. Once a concept is finalized, we’ll seek funding and develop a schedule for implementation.
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